The Gators pitcher Pierce Coppola, one of the ten college stars worth watching in 2022.

Ten players to watch, in alphabetical order, in college baseball this season:

IF Jacob Berry, LSU

The most high profile transfer of the offseason saw Berry follow his coach, Jay Johnson, from Arizona to LSU. Berry is immediately thrust into a leadership role after helping the Wildcats reach the College World Series. He batted .352 with 19 doubles, 17 homers and 70 RBIs as a freshman. It’s worth watching his transition from Pac-12 to the SEC.

LHP Pierce Coppola, Florida

The development of the 6-foot-8, 215-pound freshman could be fascinating to follow. He went on a 5,000-calorie-a-day diet to add strength and size and is in the mix to earn a role early. The New Jersey native gave up just 16 hits and struck out 88 in 42 1/3 innings as a high school senior. He draws comparisons to Randy Johnson and Andrew Miller and, naturally, his ceiling is high.

OF Chase DeLauter, OF, James Madison

The 6-foot-5, 235-pounder played under the radar for two years before his performance in the Cape Cod League last summer put him in position to be among the first players taken in the 2022 MLB draft. Last spring, he batted .386 with a .500 on-base percentage and brings a 16-game hitting streak into the season.

LHP Carter Holton, Vanderbilt

Holton is bidding for a spot in the weekend rotation, no small feat for a freshman in one of the nation’s premier pitching programs. He pitched with maturity beyond his years in the fall following a stellar high school career highlighted by three perfect games.

RHP Thatcher Hurd, UCLA

The Bruins scored big victories when Hurd, projected to be taken in the second or third round of the 2021 draft, flipped from UC Santa Barbara and told MLB teams he would be going to school. The 6-4, 200-pound freshman is advanced for his age, considering he’s a former catcher, and he and freshman lefty Gage Jump could be next in the line of UCLA pitching greats.

OF Brock Jones, Stanford

He homered three times, including a grand slam, in a super regional-clinching win at Texas Tech and made the College World Series all-tournament team with two homers and eight RBIs in three games. Batted .311 overall and .356 with runners in scoring position and led Pac-12 with 18 homers.

2B Jace Jung, Texas Tech

The Big 12 player of the year, consensus All-American and Dick Howser Trophy finalist projects to be a high first-round pick in the 2022 draft. Jung is nation’s top returning home run hitter (21). He batted .337, drove in 67 runs and had conference-best .697 slugging percentage.

2B Robert Moore, Arkansas

The son of Kansas City Royals president of baseball operations Dayton Moore has done it all for the Razorbacks for two seasons. The 5-9, 170-pounder last year hit a team-best 16 homers with 53 RBIs and drew 41 walks. He and SS Jalen Battles form one of the best middle infields in the nation.

RHP Landon Sims, Mississippi State

Sims’ move from the bullpen to weekend starter is one of the intriguing stories entering the season. He was nails last season with his low- to mid-90s fastball and wicked slider. He was 5-0 with a 1.44 ERA, 13 saves and 100 strikeouts against 15 walks in 56 1/3 innings.

LHP Carson Whisenhunt, East Carolina

The 6-3, 209-pounder has developed into a first-round draft prospect mixing a low 90s fastball with a decent change-up. He was overshadowed by Gavin Williams last season, when he was 6-2 with 3.77 and 79 strikeouts in 62 innings. He followed up spring with impressive work for the USA Collegiate National Team.


More college baseball coverage: